Alexa Hintze is no stranger to WSU. She earned her B.S. in Integrated Plant Sciences, double majoring in Fruit and Vegetable Management and Landscape, Nursery, and Greenhouse Management, while also double minoring in Horticulture and Agricultural Systems. Now a master’s student doing potato research in the Department of Horticulture, Alexa says she plans to graduate in spring 2023.
Alexa’s primary master’s degree project involves, she explains, “maximizing grower returns by determining the ideal seed-piece size for Clearwater Russet, Ranger Russet, and Russet Burbank grown in the Columbia Basin.” Another component of this study includes comparing whole versus cut seed for Clearwater Russet.
Alexa says that once she graduates, “I hope to serve Washington’s potato industry as an agronomist, but I’m open to any potato-related jobs that come my way.”
Alexa’s interest in agriculture stems from when she was a little girl. She says, “Growing up, I was always concerned about making sure everyone around me had enough food to eat. In high school I became heavily involved in FFA and took as many agriculture classes as possible. I knew I wanted to pursue a career in something I love. After working with potatoes, I knew this was an industry I want to be a part of for the rest of my life.”
Like a lot of us, Alexa wrestled with a little self-doubt before applying to grad school.
“In my early years of college,” she says, “I told myself I wasn’t capable of graduate school because I was sick of taking classes when I would rather be working.” After graduation, she quickly realized she wasn’t qualified enough for the jobs she was interested in. From there it was an easy decision. Graduate school offers the perfect opportunity for me to prove what I’m capable of and, when I’m finished, will ensure a successful career doing something that I love while providing a better life for myself and my loved ones.”
Her boyfriend has been her biggest supporter, Alexa says. “Tyler and I like to go on adventures, whether it’s hiking, fishing, or hunting, but we also enjoy our lazy days together watching movies or TV shows. He has been my rock through graduate school and I’m so thankful for him.”